COPYandPAY – minimally intrusive, maximally merchant

By Josef Etz on 26. February 2013 in Inside PAY.ON, Open Payment Technology

Years of experience with payment pages have influenced the design of COPYandPAY. With a fresh mind and lots of knowledge we asked the critical questions: What are the use cases for a merchant using third party payment pages? How do such pages simplify the merchant’s live? What makes it hard to use them? Let me describe our thoughts about a perfect payment page solution and why COPYandPAY comes close to it.


When a merchant has to decide whether he needs the help of a third party for delivering a payment page to his shoppers, in general there are two aspects:

1.    Security and Compliance – the third party payment page helps to ease security issues (e.g. manipulation of input data) and compliance matters (PCI DSS) drastically. Large parts of the burden of a PCI audit, this burden is outsourced to the payment page provider.
2.    Ease of integration – A merchant is expert in selling his products. He is not necessarily an expert in payment methods. A PSP can help on the business side as well as on the technical side. However: there are technical and business limits for how far this help can reach. A payment page shifts some of these limits: instead of specifying how a credit card is to be validated, the page contains this knowledge in code. No need for the merchant to bother about the differences of a German bank account compared to a Brazilian. The payment page contains those forms. Confused of the handling of browser redirects in case of various asynchronous payment methods? The payment page hides it behind a common interface.


Most payment page solutions in the market address the described issues. And especially number one does often not leave many other options to the merchant. And most solutions do a decent job in addressing both. However – as often in life – solving one thing introduces another.


So what are the things that become more difficult if you use a third party provided payment page?
1.    Integration of the third party payment page into the checkout-process – guiding the shopper to the preferable methods of payment. Offering special discounts for choosing PayPal. Asking the shopper for his address details in case of card payment. Querying those details from amazon in case of ‘Checkout by Amazon’. These and many other aspects influence when and how to offer which payment method during the checkout process.
2.    Seamless integration – the payment part of the checkout must follow the merchant’s CI. Validation errors should be shown the same way as on other pages. Use the labeling of the merchant’s choice (“Card Number”, “cardnumber”, “Card-No.”, “NUMBER OF CARD”). And everything has to be displayed properly on screen resolutions from iPAD to 22’ monitors.


If these requirements are even slightly missed, this can have a significant impact to conversion rates. Unfortunately they are hard to meet with a third party payment page. Most of them provide quite some flexibility to customize their look and feel. But there are limits. And even the simplest things do not come for free. A merchant just wants the payment page to use the same background color as on all other pages? Look it up in the docs of the payment page. Of course, it is acceptable that a deep integration of the payment into the shop needs some effort. But is it really necessary that the merchant’s developer needs to become an expert in this product just to make the Credit Card form fit in nicely?


We don’t think so and that’s why we address these requirements in our COPYandPAY solution. A default integration of COPYandPAY needs you just to copy a few lines from our online tutorial. And it will not look alien from the beginning.  This is the result of taking these merchant’s requirements seriously:


Intelligent defaults – out of the box the payment form fits into the merchant page. COPYandPAY actually is not a payment ‘page’ solution. It’s widget based! JavaScript widgets will add themselves forms into the merchant page. They apply the general style of the merchant page automatically. And if the shop works in a mobile browser, COPYandPAY will also.  A ‘page’ solution – often based on Iframes – just cannot do that. No blame to the developers. There are technical reasons.


Minimally intrusive – the ready to use payment page (or widget) should not do more than what it is for: payment. It should not ask if the shopper wants to subscribe the newsletter. It should not decide that card payment is not allowed for shoppers below the age of 18. Google claims to be the only company that wants its users to leave its pages quickly. COPYandPAY claims that it does not need one inch on the screen for anything else but payment.


Full flexibility – if the merchant needs to ask the shopper for subscribing the newsletter, the merchant can add it COPYandPAY. But he does need to figure out which of the 15 distinct options for newsletter subscription comes closest to his needs. If the merchant requires not offering of Card Payments for shoppers below 18, COPYandPAY can help to solve this. But not by letting the merchant’s developer call the support that tells him that he has to look it up in the docs on page 146, appendix C. The merchant does just not like the style of the payment forms provided out of the box? He needs to collect additional data? He wants small fields for the card number instead of one big: with COPYandPAY he can do all of this. Not by studying documentation. COPYandPAY does not force you to use its defaults. No need for restricting it to the minimum. Just create your own form. By using normal HTML. By applying your own JavaScript. By assigning the CSS that comes from you. Deep integration needs some effort. But the effort is with tools your designers and technicians use every day.


Intelligent defaults, minimally intrusive, full flexibility. These are the core values of COPYandPAY. They result in more ‘more merchant’ and a super simple merchant integration in just three steps.


And that’s why we think your developers will see COPYandPAY as a cool thing. That’s why we’re sure your designers will not want to integrate anything else. That’s why we believe your compliance officers will like COPYandPAY. That’s why we think your business people will stick to COPYandPAY. And that’s why we ask you to consider COPYandPAY as best third party payment page solution in the market.


Josef Etz

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